Rule #1: Our Guide is Christ. We shall seek to be formed in Christ’s image. This rule serves as the foundation for all of our rules. The purpose of our Order is to help people who are truly seeking to be formed in the image of Christ to learn to recognize the landmarks on the journey of spiritual formation. The Order of St. Patrick serves as a community of like-minded people, upholding one another on the journey of growing in deep, intimate, and meaningful relationship with God.
Rule #2: We shall pray daily. Morning (laud), noon (sext), evening (vespers), and night (compline) prayers shall be observed by each member of the Order. Prayer is the foundational activity of our Order. The practice of prayer helps to establish us as seekers of the way of Christ. Prayer is our means of communicating with God. We affirm and believe that prayer allows us access to the power of the Holy Spirit. Through the divine presence of that Holy Spirit, we find and rediscover the strength to grow fully into the image of Christ. Morning, noon, and evening prayers are fundamental praxis of a healthy, flourishing, and meaningful prayer life. This rule is a minimal requirement for prayer. The Order considers prayer our privilege in communicating with God, and we profess that prayer is one of the primary disciplines of our spiritual formation.
Rule #3: Our cloister is our local church or abbey. Each member shall actively participate in the positive development of the local church or abbey to which they belong. Our local church or abbey is the place to which we go for strength and support to continue our everlasting journey through life. Our commitment to the positive development of our local church or abbey is a commitment to participate in the life of our local church or abbey in such a way that it becomes a stronger and more supportive community of faith. We are committed to participating in our local church or abbey by sharing freely of the gifts God has entrusted to us according to the needs represented in our local church or abbey.
Rule #4: We shall be faithful stewards. Our stewardship of the good gifts that God has entrusted to us for a time is the expression of our Christian ministry as it relates to Creation . The way in which we invest our time, talents, gifts, and service relates directly to our understanding of the Christian faith, and to God’s calling upon our lives. Our Christian stewardship includes the wise care of all that God has entrusted to us in other people and our world around us. We encourage all members of the Order to seek diligently to be faithful to our calling to Christian stewardship as we discover and practice ways of increasing the quality of life for all of God’s creation.
Rule #5: Our service is our gratitude. We shall seek each day to perform a service for the betterment of God’s kingdom that is motivated by our genuine gratitude for God’s love. We believe that our service is our expression of our gratitude to God for the love God expresses toward us. Our service is a way of giving in the same manner that God has given to us. We encourage all members of the Order to give their service without human expectation of return while trusting that all service is received as given unto God. We believe that such service rendered as unto God shall be acceptable unto God and blessed for being so. That blessing may never return to the person who shared the service, but it shall be shared by all the benefactors of God’s love. Each day, each member of our Order shall seek to perform at least one act of service that flows from that member’s genuine gratitude for God’s love. We encourage service that shall enhance the Kingdom of God and raise the quality of life for those who are the benefactors of the service rendered.
Rule #6: We shall read from the Bible daily. We shall open ourselves to the Holy Scriptures to be formed in the image of Christ. Through inspired and informed study and meditation we shall seek such Christian formation. We believe that the Bible is the Holy Scripture of the Christian faith. As such it contains the revelation of God as Truth. We encourage each member of the Order to make a life-long search of the Holy Scriptures for the truth and wisdom that shall help form each of us in the image of Christ. Daily reading of the Bible is the beginning of such a search.
Rule #7: We shall bring light to the darkness as God has gifted us. We are committed to bringing light into the dark places of life in this world. The light is the light of God as seen in Christ and revealed in the Holy Scriptures. The darkness is any place where the light is needed. Each of us is gifted in various ways according to the marvelous wisdom of God. We believe that the best Christian investment of our giftedness is found in the purpose of bringing the light into the darkness. Our hope is to be so involved in true Christian spiritual formation that in that time of final judgment our Master shall say, “Well done, good and faithful servant” to us and because we have lived, to many others as well.